OBJECTIVE This study was conducted to determine the association between childhood type 1 diabetes and educational and health outcomes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Record linkage of nine Scotland-wide databases (diabetes register, dispensed prescriptions, maternity records, hospital admissions, death certificates, annual pupil census, school absences/exclusions, school examinations, and unemployment) produced a cohort of 766,047 singleton children born in Scotland who attended Scottish schools between 2009 and 2013. We compared the health and education outcomes of schoolchildren receiving insulin with their peers, adjusting for potential confounders. RESULTS The 3,330 children (0.47%) treated for type 1 diabetesweremore likely to be admitted to the hospital (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 3.97,95%CI 3.79-4.16), die (adjustedHR3.84,95% CI 1.98-7.43), be absent from school (adjusted incidence rate ratio [IRR] 1.34, 95% CI 1.30-1.39), and have learning difficulties (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.19, 95% CI 1.03- 1.38). Among childrenwith type 1 diabetes, highermean HbA1c (particularly HbA1c in the highest quintile) was associated with greater absenteeism (adjusted IRR 1.75, 95% CI 1.56-1.96), increased school exclusion (adjusted IRR 2.82, 95% CI 1.14-6.98), poorer attainment (adjusted OR 3.52, 95% CI 1.72-7.18), and higher risk of unemployment (adjusted OR 2.01, 95% CI 1.05-3.85). CONCLUSIONS Children with type 1 diabetes fare worse than their peers in respect of education and health outcomes, especially if they have higher mean HbA1c. Interventions are required to minimize school absence and ensure that it does not affect educational attainment.
Fleming, M., Fitton, C. A., Steiner, M. F. C., McLay, J. S., Clark, D., King, A., … Pell, J. P. (2019). Educational and health outcomes of children treated for type 1 diabetes: Scotland-wide record linkage study of 766,047 children. Diabetes Care, 42(9), 1700–1707. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc18-2423